Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens last week said he does not support a gas tax hike to fund the state’s crumbling infrastructure. Furthermore, he doesn’t want to see the question go before voters. Despite that opposition, State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, has filed a bill to raise the state tax on gasoline by 10 cents and diesel by 12 cents per gallon at the recommendation of the 21st Century Transportation Task Force.
Greitens wants to fix deteriorating roads and bridges through funds from a $163 million increase in transportation funding, paired with federal funds.
That’s not enough to fix the state’s transportation problems.
You don’t have to look too far to see how desperately Missouri roadways need to be upgraded. The widening of Highway 47 between Washington and St. Clair alone would gobble up $100 million of proposed funds. There are projects like that throughout the state.
Missouri’s fuel tax rate has not been addressed since 1992, when it was incrementally raised over four years to 17 cents per gallon.
Greitens has said he’s optimistic about what he is hearing at the federal level about transportation and President Trump’s infrastructure plans which were released earlier in the week.
Optimism won’t fix roads and bridges and given the track record of the Trump administration, there is no guarantee that the infrastructure plans will come to fruition.
Schatz is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, which released a report that shows the clear need to invest more in the state transportation system in order to develop a modern, world-class transportation system that Missourians want and need.
A gas tax would hurt our pocketbooks at the pumps, but it is necessary.
The need for improved infrastructure has been discussed for several years, but nothing has been done.
Why is the governor against asking voters if they would like a gas tax to repair the roads and bridges they drive on daily?
It is time to let the voters of Missouri decide if they would like to improve roads, instead of hoping a federal plan is approved or using a Band-Aid approach to repairs utilizing minimal funds in the state budget.